Recalling a wet CPM Fall Exposition in 2011

10hp bessemer
This 10 HP Bessemer engine is a faithful runner for many of CPM's events. In the summer of 2011, it was fully restored by the men in the photo. (Paul Harvey photo)

Now that we have been properly introduced and you virtually know me, the museum and Coolspring, I would like to present a series of articles that I have written over the years entitled, “The Flywheel, the Monthly RPM.” Having written 86 articles, I wish to travel back to the beginning, in December 2011 — wow, that’s 12 years ago! These articles will bring back many memories for all of us. I will choose articles of interest, omitting some, and present a new one each month. Our first venture will be “Our Fall Show – Another Wet One.”

It seems that the museum’s events are always plagued with rain, snow, cold and mud. But that is just Coolspring, and our visitors usually come prepared. We suggest to newcomers to be prepared to encounter all four seasons during one of our events. So, let’s venture into our first Flywheel article back in October 2011. I think everyone will enjoy.

Our Fall Show – Another Wet One

Clair McKinstry and Marilyn Harvey endured the elements to open the museum gate at 7 am. Saturday morning for the rainy Coolspring Power Museum Fall Exposition in 2011. (Paul Harvey photo)

Glorious autumn! The week before the Coolspring Power Museum Fall Exposition was sunny and warm, and the museum grounds were dry. But as the show opened on Thursday, so did the rain. We did have a break on Friday as the evening was concluded with a beautiful rainbow, and it made for a great evening engine run. But then on Saturday, the cold wet weather returned.

With dampened spirits and bodies, many flea marketers and exhibitors left early to avoid being stuck in the mud. However, our dedicated volunteers saved the show by running so many engines inside the buildings. Some engines were brought to life that had not operated in many years — to the delight of all.

We had a good turnout Friday afternoon despite the rain with some puddles but not much mud. Our guests seemed happy and the autumn leaves lit up beautifully when the sun peeped out. The evening was rewarded with a brilliant double rainbow, and a successful evening engine run with all the main buildings crowded with people, and so many engines and displays operating. The heat radiating from the operating machines warmed the buildings as well as the spirits of all who attended, and a very pleasant atmosphere prevailed.

During the Friday evening engine run, someone put three coins on the edge of a running 35 HP, two-cylinder, two-cycle Bessemer engine. This type of engine is usually considered rough running, but not so during that engine run. The coins did not move and stood on edge all evening.

bessemer engine
The Friday evening engine run featured a 35 HP, two-cylinder, two-cycle Bessemer engine that ran incredibly smooth. (Paul Harvey photo)

Bessemer, of Grove City, Pennsylvania, made many very successful two-cycle oil field engines, and CMP’s shows feature several. A recently restored 10 HP Bessemer was also featured at the 2011 fall exposition. During restoration the engine was found to be in excellent condition with all the brass work and lubricators being original with Bessemer still inscribed on them. So much dark original green paint remained, it could have just come from the factory. It is a faithful runner for CPM’s events.

Surprise guests

We had a surprise visit on Saturday afternoon by the Evans family.

Evan Evans, of Butler, Pennsylvania, built very successful four-cycle oil field engines. Many Evans engines ran 24/7 for over 80 years. The Museum has several of the Evans engines.

Incidentally, Evans’ grandchildren stopped by the show and were delighted to see the many engines that their grandfather produced.

Mac Dufton also made an appearance, braving the weather in his open Franklin and driving it over the mountain from Clearfield, Pennsylvania to attend the show. Although we are not a car show, we certainly welcome Mac every year. As soon as he parked, he had the hood open and began explaining his car — the Franklin is famous for its six-cylinder, air-cooled engine and quality coachwork. Mac always draws a crowd and is a welcome addition to our events.

Mac Dufton appears cold after driving his open Franklin over the mountain from Clearfield, Pennsylvania to the Coolspring Power Museum Fall Exposition in 2011. (Paul Harvey photo)

Remembering a friend

A few days before the Coolspring Power Museum Fall Exposition, dedicated volunteer and past director Clair Exley passed away in his small camper home on the grounds. The shock was numbing to all, making it difficult to continue.

Exley was well known as an engineer for the 300 HP Miller in the Lillibridge Station on the grounds, so it was appropriate to set up a memorial and hold his memorial service there with his engine running.

A memorial for Clair Exley was held in the Lillibridge Station where his 300 HP Miller is housed, and ran in the background during his memorial service. (Paul Harvey photo)

Time to relax

Saturday evening was a good end to a great show. All the events were over and winterization had started. It was time for the crew to relax and enjoy a pot of hot stew with some engines running in the background. Although it was not a public event, any and all who helped were welcome to relax with us. It was a great time to chat about future plans.

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